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Magnum - The Valley Of Tears - The Ballads album review

Lopsided view of Magnum

Cover artwork for Magnum - The Valley of Tears

The problem with this album is that it’s all one-paced. And Magnum have always had the quality to vary styles on their records, from epic to powerful to romantic. But here all we get is one aspect of their talent. And after a while it becomes very boring.

The best tracks on The Valley Of Tears – The Ballads are an acoustic reworking of Lonely Night and a live version of When The World Comes Down. The rest are all songs from from recent years. Some, like Back In Your Arms Again and Broken Wheel, have been re-recorded for no discernible reason. The rest have been remixed and remastered.

The problem is that because this concentrates only on the band’s output during the last decade, their best ballads, such as Sacred Hour, are overlooked. So what is included here does not represent the finest Magnum moments in this area.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.